Belonging Summary

Topics: The Crucible, Salem witch trials, John Proctor Pages: 4 (1460 words) Published: April 9, 2013
Belonging summary
Belonging: A feeling of belonging can emerge from the affiliation with people, place, groups and cultures; belonging meant to be a part of something and accepted for which one is. However, there will always be those people who don’t belong and hence are alienated from society. The Crucible Summary

Subject Matter (plot overview): The principal events in the play are the first ‘crying out’ by the girls, Elizabeth’s arrest and Proctor’s confession to lechery and refusal to confess to witchcraft. Those who should belong are excluded until there is nothing left to belong to. Themes, motifs and symbols

Reputation: Reputation is tremendously important in theocratic Salem, where public and private moralities are one and the same. In an environment where reputation plays such an important role, the fear of guilt by association becomes particularly pernicious. Focused on maintaining public reputation, the townsfolk of Salem must fear that the sins of their friends and associates will taint their names. Various characters base their actions on the desire to protect their respective reputations. Hysteria: Another critical theme in The Crucible is the role that hysteria can play in tearing apart a community. Hysteria supplants logic and enables people to believe that their neighbors, whom they have always considered upstanding people, are committing absurd and unbelievable crimes—communing with the devil, killing babies, and so on. In The Crucible, the townsfolk accept and become active in the hysterical climate not only out of genuine religious piety but also because it gives them a chance to express repressed sentiments and to act on long-held grudges. Empowerment: The witch trials empower several characters in the play that are previously marginalized in Salem society. In general, women occupy the lowest rung of male-dominated Salem and have few options in life. They work as servants for townsmen until they are old enough to be married off and have...
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